Sunday, October 7, 2012

To glue or not to glue


               Last weekend Fern Forest Treehouse guests James and Dorothy let us know in advance of their arrival that they are nongluten vegans who eat only organic food (James signed his request to stay in the treehouse "Namaste"). Wanting to please, H went online and looked up recipes for nongluten vegan breakfasts. He shopped at a natural foods market for organic fruits, rice flour pancake mix, buckwheat bread, powdered egg substitute and soy milk. He was armed and ready to meet dietary requirements.
               I got ready for the visitors by giving up gluten to see what it felt like. A friend told me I’d lose weight almost instantly, which was good incentive to get rid of the ten pounds of flour I’ve been carrying around my middle for the last couple years.
                I sampled the buckwheat raisin bread H bought and found it palatable when smeared with butter (I didn’t sign on for vegan). A toasted slice sweetened a turkey burger. I used a hunk to scoop up humus. All good.
               James, an engineer by training and yoga teacher/martial arts black belt by preference, calls Dorothy “my sweetheart.” She works in corporate development at Tufts and is such a tiny thing that you wouldn’t expect her primary topic of conversation to be food—but it is. She gets her fats from coconut milk and avocados and looks as if she doesn’t eat much of either. She gave me hope for thinning my waistline.
               They arrived late on Friday night, declined the glasses of wine we offered, and headed straight out to the treehouse.
In the morning, James brought in his French press and made an herbal coffee substitute with a chocolate flavor. It smelled delicious. When H offered him soy milk for the drink, James asked if we had any half and half. We did and offered it with raised eyebrows but no questions. For breakfast, H made nongluten waffles, which tasted like sandpaper. Dorothy said if you soak them in enough maple syrup, you can get them down. I doused on syrup and berries and vanilla bean yogurt, which somewhat masked the dense texture.
When Dorothy wanted to try some of my homemade granola, I brought to her attention that oats have gluten. “We’re on vacation,” she said and dished it up.
That night James took his sweetheart to Mary’s Restaurant, which serves organic localvore. They both had the cream of garlic soup, which is rich with, well, cream. Dorothy feasted on the grilled portabella mushroom stuffed with kale and pushed aside the accompanying chevre. James went for the grass fed beef. Dorothy sampled the meat from James’s plate and pronounced it good. They were on vacation.
I guess gluten-free vegan is what you make it. Namaste, James and Dorothy.
As for me, I was eating salads and gluten-free noodles and corn tortillas and getting grumpy. My fitness trainer said our bodies naturally have parasites and bacteria that feed on gluten, and when they’re denied it, they get nasty. I got nasty, too. H tempted me with pizza and cookies, but I was determined to stay the course.
My breadless diet lasted exactly eleven and a half days. It was H’s gluten-rich waffles that did me in this morning. My mood has improved and best of all, I’ve lost one glorious pound. Maybe I’ll give up gluten again—next year.